Top 5 Acupuncture Myths For Better Back Pain Relief
When you would prefer to avoid surgery or big needles for your back pain, acupuncture may come up as a possible alternative treatment to consider. Good idea! Here are the most common myths – and facts – about acupuncture for back pain relief:
1) Myth – Acupuncture treatment for back pain is more effective when you combine it with a complete Chinese herbal medicine regimen.
Natural medicine specialists will emphasize the benefits of their prescribed herbal medicine treatment plan in addition to acupuncture treatment, but at this time there is no clinical evidence that the use of herbals is necessary to obtain pain relief from acupuncture treatment.
FACT – Testing has not demonstrated any additional benefits from any specific supplements or treatment regimen – even Chinese herbal remedies. So you’re on your own if you would like to try the untested benefits of the individual herbal/botanical remedies to find what works for you.
2) Myth – Acupuncture works better for Chinese people than for Americans. One of the intriguing aspects of acupuncture for medical experts in the 1960′s and 1970′s was that acupuncture did provide pain-relief – regardless of nationality, race or creedal background.
FACT – Chinese acupuncture technique may be more effective – it uses a larger needle than Americans use. This reportedly gives both faster and more powerful pain-relief.
3) Myth – Much like with hypnosis, because so much of the relief from acupuncture is psychogenic, you’ll get much better relief if you study the Chinese / Oriental medicine beliefs or if you’re Buddhist or pagan. Obtaining good pain relief from acupuncture treatments doesn’t require you to become a Buddhist or pagan.
FACT – Christians and atheists seem to respond just as well to acupuncture as other people.
4) Myth – MRSA infection is an increasingly common complication of acupuncture.
FACT – Infection is a very rare complication of acupuncture, so MRSA is virtually unheard of.
5) Myth – The best acupuncture treatments are $250 per visit, so acupuncture is not a cost-effective treatment plan for most back pain (neck pain).
FACT – Each treatment is only half that expensive. A typical first evaluation with an acupuncturist is in the $150+ range, with follow-up treatments about $100-150 per treatment. That’s 50% of what a new consultation with an M.D. spine specialist would be.
And a course of treatment actually costs less than what a single epidural steroid injection treatment would cost (M.D.’s fees and facility fees for an epidural steroid are $3-5,000). By comparison, a spinal surgery can cost upwards of $45,000.
The recent medical literature shows (with a moderate degree of reliability) that acupuncture appears to be beneficial for both pain control and to help speed recovery in patients with neck and back pain.
The extent of back pain relief with acupuncture relates in some degree to how much people use acupuncture in combination with clinically-proven nutritional and lifestyle changes, exercise, good physiotherapy, attention to perpetuating factors, and ergonomic adjustments.
We think that acupuncture triggers the release of neuro-active chemicals including enkephalins, dynorphin, b-endorphin, and endomorphin. It also appears that acupuncture has both pain-relief effects and anti-inflammatory effects.
Once again, in the absence of a specific program of physical exercise and stretching, or other complementary therapies, the numbers reveal that acupuncture is somewhat less likely to provide lasting relief.
For the latest up-to-date information on how to get better non-invasive pain relief, let me help you with my best answers. Why get stuck with pain in the neck problems, as almost everyone does.